May is Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which means it’s the perfect time for all of us to listen, learn about and celebrate the contributions, achievements and influence of individuals from the AAPI community.
It’s also a great time to explore the varied culinary traditions found throughout the Asian Diaspora. It’s delicious work that’s become even easier thanks to Asian Restaurant Week, a first year event which takes place May 16 - 22.
What you should know
Behind the event is ElevAsian, a group of AAPI individuals and allies from around the State of Wisconsin dedicated to amplifying, celebrating and giving voice to people, businesses and initiatives that uplift and support the community.
“Food is a great entry point for learning more about a culture, and it’s also the way members of the AAPI share their care for others as well as a piece of their cultural heritage,” notes Shary Tran of ElevAsian.
And both care and learning are key in a world where hate crimes and violence toward our AAPI communities have increased, and the need to stand in solidarity with our communities of color is more important than ever. Asian Restaurant Week provides the perfect opportunity to learn, grow and show our support.
“During Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we encourage people to order as much takeout from AAPI restaurants as possible,” says Jenny Lee of ElevAsian. “It’s a way to show support to our community. It’s a way to show appreciation for your favorite restaurants.”
Be sure to share your favorite dishes from Asian Restaurant Week on social media using #AsianRestaurantWeekMKE You can also follow ElevAsian on Facebook for restaurant features and AAPI Heritage Month content.
There are countless restaurants throughout the city (and beyond) that you can choose to support during Asian Restaurant Week and AAPI Heritage Month (dishes from some are featured in this article). You can choose to support any of them.
However, if you need a place to start, take inspiration from this list of local favorites identified by members of ElevAsian. It’s a veritable feast of options for cultural and culinary exploration.
1609 E. North Ave., (414) 273-6688
2945 S. 108th St., (414) 328-9890
207 E. Buffalo St., (414) 271-7788
J.J. Chen's Eatery
10722 W. Oklahoma Ave., West Allis, (414) 329-8333
Lucky Bakery & BBQ
11078 W. National Ave., West Allis, (414) 329-2688
Sze Chuan Restaurant
11102 W. National Ave., West Allis, (414) 885-085
Meat on the Street
1125 N. 9th St., (414) 477-6717
Ono Kine Grindz
7215 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa (414) 778-0727
3902 N. 76th St., (414) 249-5672
O So Good
6309 N 76th St., (414) 979-0043
2201 S Kinnickinnic Ave, (414) 837-6121
605 S 1st St, (414) 224-5444
2930 N. 117th St., Wauwatosa, (414) 235-9220
Ruta's Vibrant Indian Cafe
2238 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 763-9081
5114 S. 108th St., Hales Corners, (414) 427-5900
Indian and Pakistani
711 W. Historic Mitchell St., (414) 672-7878
7510 W. Layton Ave, Greenfield, (414) 800-4226
Indonesian and Chinese
8673 N. Port Washington Road, Fox Point, (414) 228-8222
7453 W. Layton Ave., Greenfield, (414) 325-1000
5191 S. 108th St., Hales Corners, (414) 525-2266
Japanese and Thai
Hungry Sumo Sushi Bar + Asian Bistro
2663 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 595-9656
Rice N Roll
1952 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 220-9944
222 E. Erie St., (414) 885-2611
1932 E Kenilworth Pl., (414) 226-5160
Stone Bowl Grill
1958 N. Farwell Ave, (414) 220-9111
Lao and Thai
3425 W. National Ave., (414) 316-9023
C&D Thai Food Truck
6509B S 27th St., Franklin, (414) 301-4126
Vientiane Noodle Shop
3422 W. National Ave., (414) 672-8440
Pop-ups in Racine and Milwaukee
2343 Mead St., Racine
1000 E. Locust St, (414) 226-6483
2238 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 763-9081
Multiple Asian cuisines
1664 N Van Buren St, Milwaukee, WI 53202
5930 W. North Ave., (414) 257-2228
110 E. Greenfield Ave., (414) 316-9003
2128 Silvernail Rd, Pewaukee, (262) 521-9780
Nana Asian Fusion & Sushi Bar
4511 N. Oakland Ave., Shorewood, (414) 967-8888
Taste Amir’s Roti
Malaysian food truck
222 W. Wells St., (414) 817-0241
Eleven25 at the Pabst, 1125 N. 9th St., (414) 935-2823
Evie's Vietnamese Kitchen
N89W16851 Appleton Ave., Menomonee Falls, (262) 415-5540
1923 W. National Ave., (414) 384-4522
10534 W. Greenfield Ave., West Allis, (414) 828-9698
5475 S. 27th St., Greenfield, (414) 282-8852
Vietnamese Noodles of Mequon
1380 W. Mequon Rd, Mequon, (262) 241-1999
Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.